The FA – Tweeting Their Way to Foreign Fans’ Hearts

Twitter will send fans outside the UK FA Cup highlights in Direct Messages via Bot. The service is also going to broadcast AS Roma games and interviews exclusively.

Football is about the moment. In the blink of an eye a match can totally change its direction. That’s what makes it so brilliant, thrilling and what keeps it interesting. There’s always the chance for an upset due to a moment of magic or sheer luck. And nowhere more so than in the FA Cup, the world’s oldest professional cup competition. To align these preconditions with a modern day fan’s reception of football, Twitter have partnered with the FA to provide fans outside the UK with automated highlights of top games via Direct Messages. So there’s no delay in distributing relevant updates. The Emirates FA Cup Twitter feed will provide highlight packages, too. And Twitter keeps on giving to football fans who can follow AS Roma games live on the platform now.

Twitter is a real-time update provider primed for football

The news and social networking platform Twitter is destined for additional information and updates in a sports environment. The platform just answered the users’ calls for more options regarding the timeline or feed. So a button has started to roll out, which allows users to switch between latest and top Tweets.

Moreover, Twitter has experimented with sections for the timeline, a feature that is available in the US only right now.

As there’s a sports section, that very funtion might be quite valuable for football brands in the future.

Twitter has established itself as the ideal platform for discussions during the game, sharing your frustration or enthusiasm, for pundits’ opinions or just spreading useful and sometimes odd facts – as OptaJoe’s account illustrates.

Opta have really found their channel there and the Emirates FA Cup, England’s old and pride – yet somehow slightly disregarded – cup competition, is trying to get global fans on board with the help of the service. As various papers report, users in ten markets like India, the US, Egypt, Brazil etc. will have the opportunity to get live highlights from the Cup sent via Twitter’s Direct Message system. The feature will be available for games played by Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and the fans will receive eight 30-second clips during the game, a two-minute highlight video from midnight on and ten-minute highlight footage from midday the following day. Fans will just have to register to get the action right on their mobile device (or on desktop) within minutes.

The partnership with Twitter is vital to ensure the competition remains at the forefront of fan engagement and ensures that fans across the world have live access to some of the biggest fixtures, regardless of their daily schedule or location. This approach fits within our overriding strategy to be innovative in delivering experiences in line with how modern fans are consuming sports media and want to engage with the competition in the future,

says Georgina Lewis, the FA’s head of marketing. Broadcast production partner Input Media and content media agency Social Chain will help edit and distribute the highlight clips.

Fans can register to get FA Cup updates via Twitter, © The Drum

The official account of the Emirates FA Cup will also tweet to keep fans following their feeds informed with highlight packages after matches and content like Goal of the Round.

There’s nothing like an old-fashioned cup tie,

that’s what the FA say about the competition. It’s true when you look back at the unlikely 2008 final between Portsmouth and Cardiff or Wigan Athletic’s unexpected win in 2013 – when they were relegated. So Twitter might just be the right channel to spread the FA Cup’s old-fashioned magic to users worldwide, in a digitalised and ever more fast-moving world. The Premier League has 18,7 million followers on Twitter, the FA Cup only 206k; and the Bundesliga 2,12 million.

Opportunities to get fans engaged

Twitter is fast becoming a preferred option for clubs, leagues, brands and those connected to the football business. Tweets and Direct Messages enable them to get fans not only informed but also engaged with sponsors or club values.

European top club AS Roma have even secured a first-of-a-kind deal with the company, which makes exclusive content and live games available to followers of AS Roma’s 15 Twitter accounts. Training sessions and interviews will also be shown after a test in this year’s pre-season was deemed successful.

Roma’s innovative and award-winning social media strategy has been widely hailed as a ‘game-changer’ in the world of sport and we’re delighted to have become the first club in Italy to enter into this kind of commercial partnership with Twitter. The new deal will enable us to deliver an even more engaging experience to our fans and followers, bringing them even closer to the club, and also allow us to deliver increased exposure and value to new and existing sponsors.

said Francesco Calvo, Chief Revenue Officer at AS Roma. The club have a great Social Media strategy and use Twitter particularly well. Announcing Aleksandar Kolarov as a Roma player in hilarious fashion certainly shows their prowess.

Becoming popular on Twitter, maybe viral even, is a good achievement for a football brand. And that’s what the FA might hope for, albeit with another approach. Tweeting your way to the fans’ hearts is a new way to stay on their minds – and in their feeds.

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